Feb 042015

Welcome to the spring semester! I know we all have plenty to do at this time of year–creating lesson plans, taking new classes, figuring out dissertations and theses, battling what feels like unending piles of slush–but don’t forget to make sure your NYSHIP account is up to date, especially if you work at a 2-year CUNY college or if you no longer adjunct at the CUNY school where last semester you had NYSHIP deductions taken out of your paycheck. Remember that if there has been a change to your job title or the campus from which you will be paid, you need to submit a transfer form. Keeping your NYSHIP account up-to-date will protect against NYSHIP in Albany terminating your coverage for premium nonpayment without prior notification, which could result in your being responsible for paying for medical services you thought were covered under the plan. This is also important for making sure dependents, such as newborn children, are definitely covered in your plan. 

For students who are now enrolling or re-enrolling in NYSHIP coverage: Here’s what you should know about the effective date of your coverage, based on when you enrolled:

  1. If the paperwork is received by Scott Voorhees prior to or as of the beginning date of the appointment, the coverage is effective as of the beginning date of the appointment.
  2. If the documentation is submitted within the first 45 days of the appointment date, the coverage is effective as of the date received, which means it is not retroactive to the beginning date of the appointment.
  3. If documentation is submitted after the initial 45 days of the appointment date, the coverage is effective 30 days following the date it is received.

If you are switching from a fellowship to an adjunct position at CUNY, or vice versa: Fill out change of title and/or campus form (attached to this post) and send to Scott Voorhees, the Graduate Center NYSHIP liaison. This ensures that your health insurance is still being deducted from your paychecks and that you are still covered. Please check your future pay stubs to confirm that the NYSHIP deduction is being taken out.

If you are switching from one CUNY campus to another as an adjunct:
Fill out change of title and/or campus form (attached to this post) and send to Scott Voorhees. This ensures that your health insurance is still being deducted from your paychecks at the new campus and that you are still covered. Please check your future pay stubs to confirm that the NYSHIP deduction is being taken out.

If you are taking an adjunct position at a two year college: To be a participant in NYSHIP you must be a state employee. Community college adjuncts are considered city employees, so their payrolls must be transferred. In other words, in order to get state health insurance coverage, you need to get your paychecks through the Graduate Center payroll rather than through the community college payroll department. This transfer must be completed before being enrolled for NYSHIP coverage, and your payroll must be transferred every semester while you are employed at a community college. Hence, it is extremely important that you make sure ASAP that Scott Voorhees knows that you are working at a two-year CUNY school so that your paycheck gets to you on time and so that your health insurance costs are deducted from it; be sure as well to give him your appointment letter. Do this ASAP, because payroll transfers often take some time.
**If you are also working at a four-year CUNY school, these instructions do not apply: your health insurance payments will be deducted from your paycheck at the four-year school.

If you have changed addresses: Let Scott Voorhees know your new address; otherwise, any NYSHIP information, statement of benefits, bills, etc, will be sent to your old address. ID cards are not forwarded but are sent back to Albany. The change of address form is attached to this post.

Qualifying events: Qualifying events are events that allow for a change in your health insurance: for instance, getting married, entering into a domestic partnership, and having a child are events that allow you to add dependents to your NYSHIP insurance. There are also qualifying events that allow you to cancel your NYSHIP insurance, such as when a marriage or domestic partnership allows you to become eligible to be enrolled on your partner’s insurance plan, or divorce or the end of the relationship makes necessary the termination of a spouse or partner’s coverage. However, you must let Scott Voorhees know within 30 days of the effective date of any of these events. Otherwise, you may be subject to a thirty day waiting period until the changes become effective, or you may be unable to make that switch until the end of your current appointment term. You may be liable for covering medical costs that occurred while you believed that NYSHIP would cover your partner/children.

If your appointment is ending, you are taking a leave of absence or you are graduating: You will need to complete a Termination Request form (attached to this post) if your eligible appointment is ending and you do not have an eligible appointment for the subsequent semester, or if you are taking a leave of absence or graduating. Once your termination is processed, you will be offered continued coverage via COBRA by New York State Civil Service. If you have an eligible appointment in a subsequent semester or return from a leave of absence with an eligible appointment, you can be re-enrolled in NYSHIP. Please contact Scott Voorhees.

Note on pay stubs and NYSHIP: Retroactive NYSHIP charges/deductions from your paycheck will appear with the abbreviation “ADJ” which means adjustment, not adjunct. These charges are in addition to the regular bi-weekly deduction and are the result of adding a spouse, partner or child. It generally takes a couple of payroll periods after the effective date of the change before these deductions will appear on your pay stub. If you have any questions, you can contact Scott Voorhees.

Concerns/questions about your NYSHIP coverage or claims? You cancontact Scott Voorhees and me (DSC Health and Wellness Officer). Once you set up a meeting with him, make sure you have both the medical bills from the provider and the NYSHIP statement of benefits forms that pertain to your concern. Keep the DSC aware of your concerns as well, so we know better how to advocate for you; I am happy to meet with you.

Contacting NYSHIP: You can contact NYSHIP at 1-877-769-7447, but be sure to document your call: ask for the name of the person you are speaking to and write down what that person says to you or record the call. Remember as well that you have a right to ask to speak to the supervisor of the person on the line in order to get more information, especially if you are unclear on what the person on the line is telling you.


Scott Voorhees’ contact information:

Email: svoorhees@gc.cuny.edu
Phone: (212) 817-7406
Office: Student Affairs, Rm 7301.05

My contact information: 

Email: wellness@cunydsc.org
Office: DSC Room 5495; see my office hours on the Doctoral Student Council website (cunydsc.org).

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